Baking soda
I was at the dentist's office the other day for a cleaning. The hygienist accidentally scraped my gum, and after a few days it was sore and uncomfortable. My mother recommended that I apply some baking soda (which is really just sodium bicarbonate), much to my surprise, as I had only thought of baking soda as something that is used when baking.

I went and bought a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda. I then read the label and concluded that BAKING SODA IS MIRACULOUS! It's unbelievable how many different things it can do!

First of all, it makes dough rise, so bread and other baked goods. We all know this and it's a bit dull. But man, by no means is it all it does; read on.

The label on boxes advertise that if put in bath water, it'll cleanse your skin very well, acting as an exfoliation agent. Of course, it can also be used to clean metal pots and pans of grease and grime, as well as tea and coffee stains from cups. As an alternative to fluoride-based toothpastes, baking soda makes a good tooth cleaner. What do you do when your fridge smells? Put in a baking soda box to absorb odours.

Chemical laboratories usually have baking soda easily available because it reacts with both acids and bases, helping with the containment of spills. It can even put out small fires!

Since it reacts with acids, baking soda can be used to treat heartburn. Mixed with water, it makes an antiseptic mouthwash, preventing the spread of infections (it worked for me). Also, it relieves the itching associated with allergic reactions to poison ivy by application to the affected area.

Other than all these serious uses, baking soda and vinegar can be used in manufacturing of 'bombs' and 'volcanoes', which are quite fun for anyone interested in small-scale explosions and eruptions!